The aptly-named Passage is a discreet space stretching between Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street, on the old L’otel site. This narrow bar not only fills the space between the streets but also the gap for mature Sydney-slickers who have hung up their clubbing shoes but still want to head out to a vibrant nightspot.
Although it is a relatively small place, it offers four different areas including a front dining room with a communal marble table and lounge area dominated by a long banquette. The following two rooms are an area boasting a long, lit-up marble bar, chic stools and high tables and a back room sporting some extra seating. The Passage has also recently received its outdoor license which means chairs and tables now also drink in the Darlinghurst vibe.
DJW Projects were among the many asked to quote on the new sound system for the old L’otel venue to be known as The Passage. Knowing the venue well, DJW Projects were aware of it’s history and problems.
“Consequently at the first meeting the discussions were more centred along the lines of the client requirements and plans for the venue and its proposed operations,” said Dave Coxon, managing director of DJW Projects. “Rather than discuss the brands and solutions, DJW Projects’ primary objective was to understand the limitations of the building envelope to assist in the speaker design. As such DJW Projects was the only AV company to provide a comprehensive list of necessary remedial building works required to allow the sound system design to work as the owners had envisaged.”
As budget was not unlimited, and the building had over the years had proved it “leaked like a sieve” a decision was made to give audio emphasis to the main bar area and then stretch the budget as far as it could practically go for the ancillary areas.
“From the outset of the project sound and our relationship with the neighbourhood were major focuses for us,” commented Ed Loveday, The Passage’s manager. “The venue had a history of noise complaints and we knew that it was going to be important to invest some time and money into fixing the problems.
“After numerous quotes from different AV companies we were referred to DJWProjects by a friend..and arranged for Dave Coxon to meet us on site to provide a venue quote. After explaining the style of operation we had planned for the venue, and some of the issues the previous tenants had faced the last thing I expected was for Dave to jump up onto the bar and start cutting a hole to expose the ceiling cavity. At the time, I have to say I was a little taken back!
“However, despite (or perhaps because of) his unorthodox approach he managed to identify why the venue had so much noise escaping. He also showed an extensive knowledge of the requirements of OLGR and in the end provided us with a complete sound solution - a solution that has so far been successful in eliminating the issues that existed.”
Damien Butler decided to develop a range of custom lighting pendants and complement them with specialist lighting features to affect the atmosphere of the venue. The timeless Emeco Navy Chair was used at the long table in front room to add to the classic but modern feel of the space with Royal Upholstery also brought onboard to create the ten meter long bespoke lounge for the long corridor transition space.
Such a long and thin space created interesting audio problems.
Five EAW MK Series speakers were used in the main bar area, staggered and opposing each other with an EAW SB150 sub at each end of the bar.
“Twelve JBL Control 28 speakers were chosen for outer areas as they are the most cost effective speaker on the market for their size and they come with an elegant bracketing solution included,” added Dave.
The install required a large number of processed amp channels soCrown XTI were used again for their value for money; three XTI1000 and two XTI4000.
“To manage the matrix of audio inputs and zones, BSS Audio BLU-100 was chosen,” said Dave. “However its format being 8*8 was only suitable as XTI could handle the additional channel delays and EQ required to provide a coherent audio solution.
“In addition as the JBL, Crown and BSS are all supplied by Jands who offer an additional discount when you use their speakers, power and processing. While this is not always suitable, in this case it has worked for all, and I was surprised at the sonic quality of the Crown XTTI amps.”
An AMX NXD-430 4 inch touchscreen was installed for the audio control.
“Whilst AMX can be regarded by some as an expensive solution, this is not so with the advent of their new 4 inch touch screens,” added Dave. “AMX has become a viable cost effective solution to multi room control with the remotes costing on par with standalone BSS remotes but with additional flexibility. In the case of The Passage we also included a c-bus module allowing control and management of the existing c-bus lighting system.”
DJ gear includes a Pioneer DJM800, two Technics SL1200 turntables and two CDJ1000.